Author Topic: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track  (Read 8352 times)

Offline Student Rhodes

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Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« on: July 16, 2013, 03:45:08 AM »
This is a very cool youtube link to Ray's isolated track from "Riders On The Storm."
We've all heard the track a thousand times, but hearing the piano alone is revelatory.
Recorded in late '70, so I guess this is the sound of late Raymacs.  They sparkle on this cut, yet still have a lot of punch when he hits it. 
The piano might have had teardrop hammers, but felt cube tips at the least, no?
Interesting, shimmering vibrato.  Pictures from the session show a Stage model, so it must have been an outboard effect, I guess.

Check it out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsuAqc4Ezps&NR=1&feature=endscreen

Ray

Offline Cormac Long

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2013, 05:18:08 PM »
Excellent find.. that's one for my favorites list

Offline Student Rhodes

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2013, 06:18:18 PM »
Thinking about it, I wonder if Ray was playing through the vibrato channel of something like a Fender Twin? 
Would have been much simpler than plugging into some pedal, and the Twin was the amp Fender recommended.

Offline The Real MC

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2013, 09:51:35 AM »
Nice find.

That doesn't sound like the Twin Reverb.  There is clipping on that track that sounds more like transistors clipping, it's pretty obvious when he hits hard notes or when there are a cluster of notes like the descending pattern.  The tubes in the TR would overdrive mildly but not clip harshly like that.  You can hear the clipping wade in and out with the tremolo which is a telltale of transistor clipping in the preamp.  It isn't stereo tremolo so it may had been played on a piano with the Jordan preamp which was mono tremolo, and those Jordans weren't the cleanest Rhodes preamps.

Definitely sounds like Raymacs.  The notes below middle C have that trademark "woofiness" of Raymacs and not the pleasant "furr" of Torringtons.  Ray is also playing the bass ostinato throughout the song and the tone of the bass notes have that trademark Raymac timbre of mostly fundamental and few harmonics, radically different from Torrington tines.  Raymacs have a wonderful variable timbre in the top half of the piano that can be controlled with dynamic playing, which you really hear in this track.

The green pickups in the early Rhodes saturate on hard strikes of the tine.  That's the "punch" you hear here.  If you adjust their positions right, you can sound like you're slamming the piano when you're actually not.  Since Raymacs were the least durable tines (and hardest to find replacements), the less you can slam the tines the better.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2013, 09:59:33 AM by The Real MC »

Offline Tim Hodges

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2013, 10:19:45 AM »
Thanks for the link I've been playing it a few times since yesterday.

I wonder if that person will do anymore, I've love to download the MP3.
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Offline Alan Lenhoff

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2013, 10:42:17 AM »
Excellent!  Thanks for posting it.

Alan
Co-author, "Classic Keys: Keyboard Sounds That Launched Rock Music"

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Offline Ben Bove

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2013, 11:59:44 AM »
I believe this classic recording was done with a Silvertop model - pre 1969 piano with Jordan preamp mono vibrato.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 02:59:37 PM by bjammerz »
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Offline Student Rhodes

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2013, 12:26:41 PM »
Yes Real MC is correct on all points, this classic recording was done with a Silvertop model - pre 1969 piano with Jordan preamp mono vibrato.

Hey Ben,
Interesting... What's your source on this?  Photos allegedly from the session clearly show a Stage model, with no Silvertop anywhere in the room.
Ray

Offline David Ell

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2013, 12:52:11 PM »
Raymacs.

Offline Student Rhodes

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2013, 02:55:11 PM »
Found another pic where there's definitely a silver faced Fender amp that's mic'd near Ray's piano area. 

However, in the same collection of pics, I found a shot of Ray at a Rhodes with a harp cover that seems to have a slightly taller profile, which may indicate a Sparkletop, but because of lighting and angle, you can't be sure.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2013, 03:02:54 PM by Student Rhodes »

Offline Ben Bove

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2013, 03:20:53 PM »
Well I have no visual representation, but strictly on the audio side - to my ears it's a Jordan preamp with the vibrato and clipping that I hear.  Highly distinctive to me but I guess that's not to say he didn't plug it in somehow to a Fender amp.  I do recall the guitar on the track having the similar vibrato effect.

Would love to see photos of the session if they're available, but from what I'm going on that's what I hear.
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Offline Student Rhodes

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2013, 03:32:18 PM »
Here's a link to a flickr account that has a bunch of photos from the LA Woman sessions at the Doors Workshop.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/18739723@N00/8470318169/in/photostream/

I certainly can't say if the days they took these photos were also the days they may have recorded "Riders", but some pics clearly show the equipment they were using.

Not that it matters.  Just topics for conjecture and discussion.
Best,
Ray

Offline The Real MC

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2013, 03:44:14 PM »
It still doesn't sound like the Twin Reverb.  It may not had been the Jordan preamp or sparkletop, but Fender did have solid state guitar amps during that time.

Offline Ben Bove

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2013, 05:33:18 PM »
Thanks for the photo links.  The stage Rhodes in the main pics is from 1970 with the 3rd hinge in the middle of the back of the piano.  So this piano would have most likely had the felt cube tips, wouldn't have been rubber tips as of yet.

I also see a pic of what looks like a Silvertop with Ray's hand on his head, but then I looked closer and it's a vox organ with the Silvertop Piano Bass on top (and a beer on the right). 

Still, the sound of the vibrato to me is the Jordan preamp.  Especially at 1:26 when it's turned on, there's that classic delay happening until the effect completely kicks in.  Not sure how to explain it, but it's like the circuit doesn't get 100% juice on immediate turn on of vibrato.  Also around 3:26 when the double striking is going on it really sounds like the heavier tear drop hammers flapping around, but as you said it's good conjecture and discussion at this point.

If I get a moment, I'd like to compare audio with my Silvertop at home.  The only things I can't compare are a 1970 or a vibrato channel on a fender amp.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2013, 06:34:26 PM by bjammerz »
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Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2013, 06:01:42 PM »
Thanks so much for this link! It is so cool to hear isolated. I thought I knew it note for note, but heard a couple of small surprises in there.
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
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Offline David Ell

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2013, 08:42:55 PM »
I have never heard a '70 stage Rhodes sound that way. Even a '69 doesn't sound that way. It sounds like un-tapered raymacs to me. The lower half of the keyboard has that "bad" marimba sound. I wonder, will we ever know for sure?

Offline The Real MC

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2013, 11:25:06 PM »
Clearer shot of the piano

http://www.flickr.com/photos/18739723@N00/8470317717/in/photostream/

There's a Fender tube amp under the piano with the JBL badge - with a mic on it.

Another with Ray at an old Wurlie

http://www.flickr.com/photos/18739723@N00/8471408748/in/photostream/

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2013, 08:45:26 AM »
I have two theories about why the bass sounds the way it does. If you notice, the right hand part is louder than the left. i think that either :

A. He did the two parts (left hand, right hand) as seperate tracks, therefore the mix, EQ, reverb, etc is different between the two hands

OR

B. He actually used his piano bass for the left hand, because that was how he was used to playing.
That would make the bass sound different also.

Another question that I wish that I asked him about.
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...

Offline Alan Lenhoff

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2013, 10:48:45 AM »
I have two theories about why the bass sounds the way it does. If you notice, the right hand part is louder than the left. i think that either :

A. He did the two parts (left hand, right hand) as seperate tracks, therefore the mix, EQ, reverb, etc is different between the two hands

OR

B. He actually used his piano bass for the left hand, because that was how he was used to playing.
That would make the bass sound different also.

Another question that I wish that I asked him about.

I'm not sure whether you're talking about the actual bass line on the song -- or just how the Rhodes sounds below middle C.  But, in case it's the former:

The bass line was played by a bass guitarist. Ray talks about it here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZJ7xhu-wy4  (You can also see a bass player in the studio photos from the links posted in this thread.)

The Doors used a bass player in the studio quite often.

Alan
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1965 UK Vox Continental;1967 Gibson G101 organ; 1954 Hammond B2; Leslie 21H; Leslie 31H; 1974 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73; 1972 Rhodes Sparkletop Piano Bass; 1978 Hohner Clavinet D6; 1968 Hohner Pianet N II; 1966 Wurlitzer 140B; 1980 Moog Minimoog Model D; 1977 Fender Twin Reverb; Vox AC30CC2X amp.
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Offline Ben Bove

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2013, 12:39:18 PM »
II wonder, will we ever know for sure?

Exactly.

Anyhow, either way it's either a silvertop Rhodes or that 1970 stage through a vibrato channel.  Both Raymacs and felt hammered heads is they way you'll get that sound.  A guitar amp expert might chime in better.
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Offline Cormac Long

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2013, 12:44:09 PM »
Out of curiosity.. is this track isolated from the recording using software or is it an actual master track that someone got hold of. The amount of detail being preserved seems unbelievable for something that just filtered out the rest.

I've heard master tracks before where you would hear bleed through of other music.. however they were mostly from vocal tracks which picked up leakage from headphones playing back session demos that were used to then lay down individual tracks again.

Offline Ben Bove

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #21 on: July 18, 2013, 02:59:04 PM »
I will note though - at 1:35 when the vibrato kicks in, I feel both hands are playing and there isn't a break for a hand to grab the vibrato knob - it sounds like continuous playing and maybe vibrato was activated by a foot switch to a guitar amp or I don't know if they were messing with effects on the mix end of it / punching recording.  My feeling after hearing it at this point, Ray isn't grabbing the silvertop vibrato knob if he's playing live.  Which is highly interesting to me.  So it's room for argument on the 1970 stage thing.  Can't say for certain either way.
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Offline The Real MC

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #22 on: July 18, 2013, 05:26:51 PM »
Did the early stage pianos have the square resonators or twisted flat ones?

Offline David Ell

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #23 on: July 18, 2013, 06:27:29 PM »
 Twisted flat bars for '70. 
I worked on two '70's in the last 6 months and they sure didn't have that marimba sound in the middle of the keyboard. I have seen many '70's and none had that sound. In the treble yes, or more so. But not that funky wooden thunk. The two '69's I owned didn't have that marimba sound. But the first '69 I had was loaded with 47 dead tines. They had a sound somewhat like what we hear.
 It could be a '70 with dead tines or a '70 with an older harp. But it usually went the other way around: An older harp with non tapered raymacs was replaced with a harp with tapered tines later. I have seen several Buzz Watson mods where that was done. It could be a '70 that "just sounded" that way. But at this point I could just be muddying the waters. I guess the other band members might remember.
 Whatever the case may be, it's a great sound. I would love to have a '70 with that marimba sound.
 

Offline Student Rhodes

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #24 on: July 18, 2013, 07:07:13 PM »
I will note though - at 1:35 when the vibrato kicks in, I feel both hands are playing and there isn't a break for a hand to grab the vibrato knob - it sounds like continuous playing and maybe vibrato was activated by a foot switch to a guitar amp

Notice in the shot, there's a vinyl bag for some kind of Gibson pedal (Just as you can see the Vox vinyl bag for the wah wah on top of the Wurli).  Perhaps there was some kind of Gibson/Maestro vibrato pedal in the signal chain.

Offline David Ell

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #25 on: July 18, 2013, 07:31:06 PM »
 It's the wooden marimba sound in the midrange that threw me. I had a sparkle top that sounded just like that. I hear felt, raymacs and mono vibrato. But there is something about that marimba sound that gets me. It's a sound like tines aren't flexing very much. It could very well be that '70. If it is, I want that same set up.
 I just did a '70 (with my pre amp) into a twin and it was awesome. Only the twin didn't have JBL's. That could be why the highs sound so sweet. 

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #26 on: July 19, 2013, 08:53:28 AM »
Alan, I am talking about the way the Rhodes sounds for the left hand part, not the bass guitar. It sounds like it is mixed lower to me.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2013, 02:12:44 PM by pianotuner steveo »
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...

Offline The Real MC

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #27 on: July 19, 2013, 09:49:31 AM »
My '67 sparkletop sounds an awful lot like ROTS.  Amplitude envelope, timbre, dynamic attack unique to Raymacs with square resonators.  I've owned enough later Rhodes pianos to know the difference.

If you look at the pics of those "sessions", it looks more like a rehearsal space than a recording room.  Scant isolation, very close proximity to neighboring musicians, and microphones more suited for stage not recording studios.  That stage piano may had been for rehearsal purposes.

Offline Alan Lenhoff

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #28 on: July 19, 2013, 10:03:37 AM »
If you look at the pics of those "sessions", it looks more like a rehearsal space than a recording room.  Scant isolation, very close proximity to neighboring musicians, and microphones more suited for stage not recording studios.  That stage piano may had been for rehearsal purposes.

Good eye. It wasn't a studio.  But it was where the album was recorded.  From a Robbie Kreiger interview:

"Well, because [producer] Paul Rothchild didn’t want to be involved, we ended up saying, “Hey, let’s just do this ourselves.” And I think it was Bruce who had the idea of doing it at our rehearsal space rather than having to be under the gun of a big-money recording studio. So that sounded like a good idea. Bruce wanted to make it as natural and comfortable as possible for us, and that really worked. We knew the sound of that place from rehearsing in it all the time, and Jim loved the sound he got in the bathroom, singing-wise."

If you look at some of the photos, you'll see a couple of things you don't normally see in studios:  a jukebox and a pinball machine.

Alan
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Learn about the book: http://www.classickeysbook.com/
Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ClassicKeysBook/

1965 UK Vox Continental;1967 Gibson G101 organ; 1954 Hammond B2; Leslie 21H; Leslie 31H; 1974 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73; 1972 Rhodes Sparkletop Piano Bass; 1978 Hohner Clavinet D6; 1968 Hohner Pianet N II; 1966 Wurlitzer 140B; 1980 Moog Minimoog Model D; 1977 Fender Twin Reverb; Vox AC30CC2X amp.
(See the collection: https://vintagerockkeyboards.com/ )

Offline The Real MC

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Re: Manzarek's "Riders" iso track
« Reply #29 on: July 19, 2013, 10:59:27 AM »
And the mystery deepens...