Whitesnake Slip of the Tongue - Jemsite
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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 05:24 AM Thread Starter
 
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Whitesnake Slip of the Tongue

Something I can't figure out is why is Vai's tone so weak on Slip of the Tongue? A friend of mine sugggested that it's because the Evolutions hadn't been invented at that point and he was using PAF Pros. Was wondering if anybody had another opinion. You listen to the 1987 album and John Sykes' playing shines through no end but SOTT it's like the bottom end is just not there!
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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 07:22 AM
 
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Re: Whitesnake Slip of the Tongue

He used the Universe on SOTT didnt he?
I personally think his tone is huge on that album, maybe too heavy for many whitesnake fans. His website should give you some info as to what he was using around that time.
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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 08:28 AM
 
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Re: Whitesnake Slip of the Tongue

The producer way overcompensated for the natural tone of the UV by overdubbing 6's and tweaking the crap out of the mids and high mids.

Remember back then the rock 7 string was a new commodity and not very well understood nor accepted. The producer tried to make the 7 string "sound" more like a six string and that only accentuated the worst tonal characteristics (imho only) of the basswood+blaze+7+Vai's naturally wiry tone anyway.
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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 09:06 AM
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Re: Whitesnake Slip of the Tongue

I love the sound he has in Slip of the Tongue. Its a matter of tastes I guess.
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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 09:44 AM
 
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Re: Whitesnake Slip of the Tongue

Alot of people slate the album but i think its a great piece of work, i dont see how people can have a go at it when, really, could they do it any better? I doubt that very much, it really shows off Vai's skills as a rhythm guitar player and we dont see that side of him very often.
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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 10:00 AM
 
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Cool Re: Whitesnake Slip of the Tongue

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Originally Posted by eelblack2 View Post
The producer way overcompensated for the natural tone of the UV by overdubbing 6's and tweaking the crap out of the mids and high mids.

Remember back then the rock 7 string was a new commodity and not very well understood nor accepted. The producer tried to make the 7 string "sound" more like a six string and that only accentuated the worst tonal characteristics (imho only) of the basswood+blaze+7+Vai's naturally wiry tone anyway.
AFAIK the producer/engineer was Vai himself, he took home all of the masters and remixed it. (I know the booklet mentions Mike Clink, producer) If you don't like his tone, so be it, but don't blame someone else...What really messes up Vai's tone is the keyboard overdubs and overusing the Eventide though.

IMHO the guitar tone on SOTT (1989) isn't bad at all, just compare it to "...And justice for all" (1988 ) or to Queenryche's "Empire" (1990 best I can has rubbish tone, on jet city woman it's great).

It's just the way things were back then. Producers and Engineers were just getting to grips with the transition form analogue to digital, anything produced between ca 1987 and 1992 suffers from this.

Compare "...justice" to "the black album" (1991) or "rust in peace" (1990) to "countdown to extinction" (1992) or "appetite" (1987) to "illusion" (1991)
All of the earlier examples sound like the guitars were recorded in a small bathroom.

Just for reference, EvH said the first VH album mixed properly and correctly was "Balance" (1995!), he did most of it going back and forth to his Mercedes, in stead of listening to the studio monitors
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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 10:03 AM
 
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Re: Whitesnake Slip of the Tongue

I agree with the Eventide comment, he uses it way too much for my liking. The harmonies are perfect aswell, does he use the Eventide for all the harmonies?
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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 10:31 AM
 
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Re: Whitesnake Slip of the Tongue

Who knows if Coverdale got Steve or whoever to tone down the guitars even more- after they were done. Did Steve have the final say on how the guitars sounded in the mix?

IMO the guitars are overproduced, too much double tracking....it's as if they were fooled around with too much in the mix.

I think it's a great tone nonetheless, one of my favourites

Just my 2 cents...
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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 10:45 AM
 
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Re: Whitesnake Slip of the Tongue

I think thats why so many Whitesnake fans shy away from it, its too "perfect", which i can see myself but its still a great album.
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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 10:47 AM
 
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Re: Whitesnake Slip of the Tongue

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Originally Posted by RCB View Post
I love the sound he has in Slip of the Tongue. Its a matter of tastes I guess.
me too, but...
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post #11 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 12:28 PM
 
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Re: Whitesnake Slip of the Tongue

Vai engineered the raw guitar recordings at his studio but Mike most certainly produced and requested stuff added/changed in the final version. It is documented in a few guitar and engineering publications from that era that Mike overdubbed 6's to balance out the sound to his ears. There is a big difference between what Vai tracked and engineered initially to what was done to the final product. Sykes had similar comments to what was done on his last album in regards to mixing after the fact.
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post #12 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 12:51 PM
 
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Re: Whitesnake Slip of the Tongue

For further proof listen to the 7 sound on P&W vs SoTT. Those recordings were done in a reasonably close period of time and sound completely different because Vai controlled almost all aspects, (if not ALL), of P&W.

The only reason I said any of the above is that I was a post-graduate engineering student/intern at the time and also an avid Vai fan so I read everything that was available to read from that time period in regards to engineering those albums. One of my biggest frustrations at that time (aside from the advent of digital recording - to this day Im a dying breed of Studer MarkIII lovers), was working with producers in NYC. Keep in mind I was only a 2nd engineer (a fancy term for free intern), but I watched daily what happened from the beginning of a project with the main engineer in the quasi-drivers seat to the end product which was often so completely different its not even funny. If I ever hear a producer say something again like "It should sound like a crystal blue bell" or something equally retarded, my head will explode.
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post #13 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 02:35 PM
 
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Re: Whitesnake Slip of the Tongue

You have to realise that although Vai used Universes almost exclusively in the Whitesnake era, the songs were all written by Adrian Vandenberg (on 6 string guitars)

But I don't see how Clink could've added anything but Vai's own playing, be it Universe, Jem the Ripley Stereo guitar or anything else played by Vai, since nobody else was doing guitars for SOTT. Adrian was suffering from wrist tendinitis/CTS
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post #14 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 03:00 PM
 
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Re: Whitesnake Slip of the Tongue

I read somewhere he used a Gibson Les Paul, i think its on his site.
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post #15 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-26-2006, 03:42 PM
 
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Re: Whitesnake Slip of the Tongue

It is Vai's playing that was overdubbed, but if memory serves, it was mainly various 6 strings overdubbed and layered. Im not saying I dont like the tone, its just different. The overlay of six string somewhat robbed (imo only) the natural thickness of the seven string chord voicings. All those fat 5ths in the bottom got muted out by chords in root position and created a less than organic slightly overlayered/processed sound to my ears. Im sure the keyboards, eventide, bossy lead singer, and record company execs didnt help either. I still love the album and listen to it a lot on my Ipod.
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