Skip to main content

Let’s throw in some modulation, just for kicks

Modulation effects are well known sources of fun if you happen to be a guitar (or keyboard) player. You can create textures and crazy lead tones with the help of them, and launch the sound waves up in the sky like a giant whale cock shaped rocket. So what happens when you jerk that enormous whale cum rocket onto something else than the well known guitar or keyboard sounds? Let’s check out some examples of it!

Tremolo saves the day

The setup of the old school flanger effect, using two tape machinesThis space orgasmic example on “Crimson and Clover” by Tommy James & The Shondells starts with the tremolo only on the clean rhythm guitar on the left side. Then during the solo it skips to the right. That’s nothing special so far, right (pun)? Now in the end, right after the modulation (i.e. key change), the tremolo infects the lead vocal itself. Fun, hey? They achieved that vocal effect by plugging the mic into an Ampeg guitar amp, with the tremolo turned on and up. The audio engineer of the song was Bruce Staple, of Allegro Sound Studios. An interesting trivia is, this song is actually one of the first bunch of tunes that were recorded onto 16-track tape.

Tommy James & The Shondells – “Crimson and Clover”

The flanging sound of mod

Then there’s this song, kind of a mod anthem, if you will. “Itchycoo Park” by Small Faces. You can hear a nice and (not so) bold flanger effect on the whole mix after the choruses. That’s what a true scooter riding space cowboy needs. It’s especially prominent on the mono version. Sources claim that the use of this effect originated from George Chkiantz (of Olympic Studios). Small Faces’ engineer Glyn Johns (yeah, it’s that man, you know, with his drum recording setup) has then learned the trick from George. Glyn was also eager to show the flanging, whirling sound effect to the band. And the Small Faces were, of course, all over it. The rest is history, as the say. Also note that wonderful bass line played by Ronnie Lane (he co-wrote the song with Steve Marriott) and its tone.

Small Faces – “Itchycoo Park”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll Up