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Author Topic: A few questions?  (Read 10038 times)
malt duck
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« on: May 27, 2006, 06:51:34 AM »

Hi, I just saw "the devil and Daniel Johnston" and I was very impressed, I only really got into Daniels music in the last couple of years, I was introduced to him at art school by some long time fans, Its funny because I was allways a big fan of the Texas underground scene, through people like Butthole Surfers and Richard Linklater but had never heard of Daniel (I live in the UK). One thing that struck me about the movie was that there was so much footage of daniels life, it seems like he recorded loads of stuff not only on film but loads of audio stuff on cassette. Does he allways have a film camera and cassette player with him all the time? One critisism I had of the film is that there was very little talking with Daniel from the present day? Why was this? And one other question, my favourite music of Daniels is the stuff recorded on the cheap equipment and I was wondering in those songs where he uses the "Chord Organ" is there a seperate rhythm track or is that bashing sound just daniels hands on the organ keys? sometimes souns like its clapping added later on an overdub? Answers to these questions would be great smiley
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zack26
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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2006, 09:52:20 AM »

This is a great topic... I've always wondered this myself.á I just went back and listened closely to some tracks from Yip/Jump music.á Here's a few things I noticed.

I hear two prominent percussive sounds... the sharp drum like banging on right on the beat and the noisy rattle of the chord keys (the chord organ has separate buttons for each chord).á During the second keyboard solo in "Chord Organ Blues" rattling gets pretty chaotic (I love that!).á I guess the best ways to tell if the "on the beat" banging is just him hitting the keys really hard or if it's a separate overdubbed track is to see if they line up 100% of the time.á I think "The Beatles" is pretty good proof that the beating sound coming from hitting the chord keys really hard, since every single beat lines up with the chord, no matter how much variation there is in the rhythm... it would be quite a feat to overdub a percussion part with that much precision.á (If you listen closely you can hear his foot tapping as well).á áSo my guess is that most all of the Yip/Jump songs are overdub-free except for Danny Don't Rapp and The Creature/3rd Chair.

But I could be wrong... any other thoughts?

« Last Edit: May 27, 2006, 10:10:52 AM by zack26 » Logged
Henry Long
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« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2006, 10:30:34 AM »

I had the exact kind of chord organ...and I did a few experiments. That beat is the plastic keys coming in contact with the base. In other words, he is using the chord organ as a percussion instrument! There is also an interesting "wind" sound coming out of the speaker of the chord organ, sort of a bellows, which I guess pushes out the sound.

I think Daniel played it so hard at times that the whole thing (it's on 4 legs) actually bounces on some tracks.
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zack26
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« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2006, 10:40:07 AM »

Thanks Henry!  I love the image of the slamming hands, stomping feet, shaking organ, and wheezing bellows... what I would give for a video of the recording of "Chord Organ Blues"...
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Disfranchise
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« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2006, 02:20:37 PM »

what is that organ called?`
I bought an organ that I thought was somekind of an electric mini-piano on internet but when I got it sounded more like daniel's. Mine is called Magnus Chord Organ and I saw that name in some text about daniel. It would be really strange if I got my hands on the same kind just by accident.
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The Dentist
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« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2006, 07:40:33 PM »

Hey Disfranchise! The Magnus Chord Organ is indeed THAT chord organ. Made of all plastic, even the legs, it's a wonderful and strange machine. The whiring sound you can hear is the fan located at the bottom of the keyboard. There is the adjusment for the amount of forced bellows wind that really acts as the volume control. wink The percussive sounds you hear are Danny's fingers striking the keys. When we were covering some of Danny's songs, like "Man at War" it depended on the location of the microphone whether those sounds were picked up. With Danny recording on a boombox, the key strike percussion was picked up.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2006, 08:11:22 PM by The Dentist » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2006, 02:22:03 PM »

haha how cool! And me being such a fan of Daniel.. that's a really strange coincidence. I don't have any legs on mine though.
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PaulTMA
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« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2006, 06:14:56 PM »

My chord organ is at my parents house so I haven't played it in a while, but I wrote a great song called 'Summer Tweed' on it a few years ago, which I think we're going to put out at a single.  I've got 'Hi, How Are You?' written on the keys, which always helps.
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The Dentist
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« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2006, 08:29:36 PM »

haha how cool! And me being such a fan of Daniel.. that's a really strange coincidence. I don't have any legs on mine though.

Still got the legs on mine. But they're held together with duct tape. rolleyes West Virginia chrome don't ya know? And during the recording or our "Eye Band" tribute album Dale Dudgeon found me a really primo Sears chord organ at a flea market and brought it to my studio for a present.  Still have it in my new studio and still play it and use it for recording, as well as the Magnus. Just something about that plastic sound!! wink
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