re: TONE [ain't ~sound~]

It was a long post by Robb Bingham (about what constitutes tone) that I
snipped from here....

Wanted to say a couple of things.  If I ever want to get a rumble started
among musicians of any instrument, all I have to do is ask about Tone.

I've interviewed a fair number of harp players.  When I ask about tone,
they always seem to know exactly what it is and assume everybody else does too.
  Most of the time, they start telling me how they manipulate their body and
their equipment to get a sound. Maybe, like Big Walter, "you know it when you
hear it."

I've also talked to a LOT of harp players who seem, unanimously, to feel
that whatever you do, whatever sound emerges from your harp/mouth, can be
screwed up in about two jillion ways via the recording process...especially
through the mixing/mastering. And some folks who do a lot of studio work
(William Galison comes to mind, and Tom Ball just
mentioned it today) can tell you that somehow harp is extra vulnerable to
this.  What comes out as a sweet tone, comes off the record as a shrill
embarrassment.  Gary Primich says he can give me an exact description of
his settings, his attack, his harp choices, his influences, and you're
never gonna sound like him.  He said this is true of anybody in either
role.  To me this sounded like tone couldn't be "nailed" in Webster's
dictionary.  (But I'll hang in here and trust you all may do it.)

Big Walter said it didn't matter what you played through.  (Clearly
with him that was true!)  Of course, he felt strongly that alcohol
was the main factor in gettin' really "deep" tone!  We used to buy him a
couple bottles of tone ourselves now and then.

Cathi N.

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