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Re: Vintage Gear, E-bait etc

Some interesting discussion in this thread! I didn't read them first,  
deleting them en masse by the subject line, but then I happened to  
see Richard Sales post and I started to crawl backwards along the  
time line, into the the archives... I've have a japanese acoustic  
guitar for twenty years and it's gaining better sound and personality  
by each year. But I don't think it's all age, I once picked it in the  
store because I thought it was the one that "sounded best" (which is  
very subjective) and by then no one even knew what these K Yairi  
brand was, I simply bought it because it was talking to me. But I'm  
starting to think that this mysterious "mojo of the instrument" maybe  
doesn't live that much in the instrument as in the preferences within  
the user? I have been fooling around with many different instruments,  
playing not only guitars, and over the years I have grown to learn  
that there are certain frequency response dynamics that simply work  
very well with me. Some instruments I just can't play because they  
don't response much over those frequencies, no matter how good they  
are known to be (in the eyes and ears of others). My tenor sax was  
made in 1914 but I think the sound I like with it is also due to the  
certain moth piece, an Otto Link nine star. I once sold that mouth  
piece with an earlier - and utterly lousy - sax in the eighties. I  
bought new stuff but never got the same sound, some frequencies "were  
missing" in everything new I tried, although I was talking to all the  
pro's and checking out their brands. Then one day, after two years, I  
found my own old mouth piece in a second hand shop. Bought it of  
course! It just sounds better than anything. Not long a go, back in  
july, a Swedish wind and reed shop was visited by a guy from LA that  
manufactures his own brand of mouth pieces and when I went to his  
free class I brought my own old Otto Link, just to have some  
reference. This guy is a very good sax player and sounded fantastic  
when demonstrating his own products in the store - but the funny  
thing was that when he asked to try my mouth piece he really sounded  
a lot better!!! I just couldn't believe my ears (or my emotions,  
because that mojo was working in there...) because he sounded like  
me, just a lot more technically skilled and still a little different.  
A strange experience, really. And this autumn while I'm mostly  
playing an electronic breath controller I am experiencing that the  
same "musical mojo" - or whatever you call it - is also present in  
pure electronics! THE ONES AND ZEROES CAN GET ANIMATED! How about  
that! Yesterday I was reminded on this when working out a multi  
sampled and multi layered sampler patch based on recordings I did  
with the 1914's sax and that huge opening Otto Link. Playing that so  
familiar sound from an electronic controller that is so much more  
sensitive and expressive (in some ways) than the original acoustic  
instrument, is both strange and inspiring. But no doubt it's the same  
angel tossing around behind my back, no matter if I'm blowing into  
the old metal thing or the wired up plastic sci-fi thing. The bottom  
line is that I have learned to adjust digital parameters to deliver  
the same mojo quality that seems to come built-in with the '62  
Telecaster I use to borrow (from my bro) to play on rec sessions. So,  
I'm thinking the mojo is in the eye of the beholder. IF there was a  
method to measure all those delicate factors that are at work when  
the angels pop by, you would be able to scientifically detect "an  
instrument's soul"... but there isn't such a method and will probably  
never be. Since humans are part of the happening system it becomes  
too complex for measuring ;-)

Greetings from Sweden

Per Boysen
www.boysen.se (Swedish)
www.looproom.com (international)
http://tinyurl.com/fauvm (podcast)