Any one know how Andy gets THAT sound. I see at 1:10 he turns a blue pedal down. Do you think it may be an atenuator?
Any ideas what his gear is to get that high gain sound? Dont tell me its his chops as I wont believe you. He has a destictive sound from years ago and you can hear it when he plays electric on many of his recordings.
Last Edited by on May 26, 2010 7:02 AM
Andy uses a DigiTech "Valve FX" - from several years ago. A tube front-ended, rack-mount effects box. You can see it on top of his amp. Knowing that won't get you his sound of course - it's all in how the thing is programmed. ---------- /Greg
Lol, I just watched the first video. Andy isn't even the one playing harp to start and it sounds just like him!!!! Proof positive that gear does make a difference. If you have those sorts of chops and his rig, I bet it'd be close in sound.
Obviously chops are important, but this is 100% proof that rig is a huge factor as well...albeit not as large, but come on! FWIW, I think he and Mark Ford can sound a lot of like too...same sort of dry crunchy tone...same sort of in your face phrasing...same jazzy runs.
Mark and Andy used exactly the same rigs. They both used (use) the Valve FX unit that Greg mentions. They both play in a similar style and on some of the CD's where they play together it can be hard to tell who's who sometimes.
"Lol, I just watched the first video. Andy isn't even the one playing harp to start and it sounds just like him!!!! Proof positive that gear does make a difference"
Mike - You can't be serious! That guy sounds nothing like Andy Just. The only thing his playing has in common is the distortion level. Due to the fact I guess that's he's playing through Andy's rig.
Might be time to get those ears of yours syringed! :-)
Last Edited by on May 26, 2010 9:20 AM
K. Do you know what kind of amp Mark uses because his clean resonant sound is quite consistent in quality across a range of recordings. I have often wondered this? Thanks. d ---------- Myspace: dennis moriarty
I am referring specifically to the tone and NOT his note choice, phrasing, ability, etc. Even more specifically, the tone of the bottom two octaves. I concur that once he starts in the third octave it isn't as convincing. His tone is very close to Andy's when amped. You can hear the fundamental sound of Andy's amped tone throughout.
Anyone familiar with Andy's sound that happened to wander by this guy playing that rig would think the tone sounded near the same. The only way it wouldn't fool the audience is to hear them trade the mic back and forth.
Andy has a very unique sound that is very related to his gear. Therefore, when someone playing even somewhere near as similar though said rig he/she sounds like Andy.
"I am referring specifically to the tone and NOT his note choice, phrasing, ability, etc. Even more specifically, the tone of the bottom two octaves. I concur that once he starts in the third octave it isn't as convincing. His tone is very close to Andy's when amped. You can hear the fundamental sound of Andy's amped tone throughout."
Mmmm, well here's Andy Just playing on the same night through the same gear. The only common factor to me tonally is the amount of distortion (overdrive) in the amp. Other than that The first clip bears no resemblance to my ear of Andy's amped tone.
Thanks Kingley. If anyone else has specifics about Mark's devices please let me know. Years ago when we met at workshop in the San Jose Hilton he heard Charlie Musslewhite's piano player tickling the keys on the lobby piano. Mark just opened his cigar box of harps and ran over with a big grin and began playing along: pure musical fun enthusiasm! Great energy. His phrasing gives me shudders- sometimes he sounds like Butterfield on steroids to me. Jazzy and organic. Almost intuitively you know he must get bored with cliches easily. d ---------- Myspace: dennis moriarty
How do they sound different? I am convinced if that clip was audio only and someone said who does this remind you of sonically, Andy Just and Mark Ford would be the overwhelming response.
Especially listen to the first verse of solo after the vocals. There are a few phrase with chording that sound exactly like Andy. Again, I don't think he is using the same riffage as Andy, but going back to the original post, this is proof positive that gear is a huge part of the amped equation. If Oxharp wants that sound, this gear will get you that - which is namely the distortion piece you mention.
However, in this example, which isn't always true, I wouldn't say the guest harp player has "thinner" tone...nor would I say there is a huge difference in bass, highs, mids, response of the rig, volume, etc.
But if we aren't hearing them play the same licks on the same keyed harps through the same rig, trading back and forth, there are way too many variables - even between clips - to consider.
Here is a clip where Jason and Chris are using the exact same rig. Making an A/B here is much easier. Even here, Chris and Jason share a lot of tonal similarities! ----------
Mike - I have said it before and I'll say it again.
"The only common factor to me tonally is the amount of distortion (overdrive) in the amp. Other than that The first clip bears no resemblance to my ear of Andy's amped tone."
You will only ever sound like you through any gear. Just because you have the same amp and same effects as Andy Just it won't make you sound like him. Even if you had the exact same settings he used.
How do I know this?
A friend of mine flew to America over 15 years ago just to watch and meet Andy Just. He got all of his settings directly from him (amp and effects) and wrote them all down. Then he came back to the UK and bought all the same gear. He then proceeded to play Andy Just material note for note using those exact same settings. He doesn't even sound close to Andy Just. Now this friend is no rookie. He is a very good harp player with excellent acoustic tone and can overblow/ overdraw play multiple positions, etc.
To live in the belief (or to perpetuate the belief) that any amp or effect will make you sound tonally like some other player is just plain ridiculous.
If this were the case then all the HarpKing amp users would sound tonally like Rod Piazza and all the HarpGear HG50 users would sound like Jason Ricci.
The singer in the "Robben Ford" vid Kingley posted with the Ford Bros band is Volker Strifler - amazing guitar player with several albums under his own name. If you like modern blues check him out. He and Andy have a CD together as well. Andy takes on the duties of "Ford Brothers Blues Band" harp player when Mark isn't around (which is most of the time) and Volker is the lead when Robben isn't around (which is also most of the time.) That's Robben Ford on the other guitar, Mark Ford on harp and Pat Ford on drums. An overabundance of talent in that family! I've had the great fortune to share a stage with Andy, Volker and Pat. ---------- /Greg
I'll add this observation from "my" perspective. While Andy and Mark do share some kind of siamese phrasing they are definitely separable and different tonally to "my" ears. I have seen them both and obviously their histories are near familial but Mark's the man for "me". One reality specific to "me" is that first harp player being discussed does not sound anything like Mark Ford to me. How you extrapolate that onto the resemblance between Andy Just and that first harp player is up to you guys. My best. d ---------- Myspace: dennis moriarty
The first player is Mark Fenichel. He runs a jam in San Jose, CA. I know Mark. He is a super nice guy and a very good harp player. He is not in the same league with Andy Just and Mark Ford, and he would be the first to admit it. ---------- /Greg