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This is awesome.


DonnyThompson Wed, 12/16/2015 - 12:19

Carol is a classy lady... incredibly talented, not only on bass, but on guitar, too.

I sent her an email last year, just to tell her how much I respected her playing, and the fact that she played such a huge part in the music that became the soundtrack to my generation.

I never expected it to happen, but She actually wrote me back, she was very sweet, and even told me a few behind-the-scenes stories from a few sessions.
She mentioned being very sad about the current state of the music industry, the fact that so much great music could still be made, if only talented musicians would actually play and record again.... together.

I treasure that email. ;)

DonnyThompson Wed, 12/16/2015 - 21:07

Well.. I don't know about "greatest"... she is a great player - and would certainly be on my list as of "one of the greatest of all time"... but she's not the only greatest player, and I think she'd probably be the first one to say that ...

There have certainly been other incredible session bassists, James Jamerson and Bob Babbitt ( Motown) Donald "Duck" Dunn ( Stax), Leland Sklar ( James Taylor, Carol King, Warren Zevon, Jackson Browne), Kasim Sultan ( Rundgren, Utopia, Meatloaf, Hall and Oates, Cheap Trick, Blue Oyster Cult), Tony Levin ( has played on over 500 albums for artists like Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, Cher, Dire Straits, Stevie Nicks, Alice Cooper...)

From the Funk/Jazz side there was Louis Johnson, Larry Graham, Jaco Pastorius, Jeff Berlin, Charles Mingus, Bootsy Collins.... It's a pretty long list of fantastic and influential players.

They're all great, and they all do what they do superbly. It's hard to pick out just one and say "greatest", because they were all so great, and so different.


Babbit: ( @2:05)

Louis Johnson: (@2:20)


audiokid Wed, 12/16/2015 - 21:44

DonnyThompson, post: 434525, member: 46114 wrote: Kasim Sultan ( Rundgren, Utopia, Meatloaf, Hall and Oates, Cheap Trick, Blue Oyster Cult)

We had Kasim as a mod here but after he agreed to, he never showed up lol. I finally removed him. He return the odd time but it seemed more like a publicity reason. I think I talked to him from NY once. Nice guy, great career. Busy fellow.

Tommy P., post: 71952, member: 49320 wrote: Enjoy the break, Gary. Hey its summertime man! Time to find time to let it all wind down a bit...even if there are "projects" pending.
Monday night Carol Kaye is returning to RO for another guest chat. Come and hang if ya have the time...
Tommy P.

audiokid Wed, 12/16/2015 - 21:59, post: 50042 wrote: Let's compare the thread called "Understanding Phase..." with this one. Both threads have people with contrary opinions, yet this one seems to have degraded into the realm of ugliness. One difference, I think, is that the other thread has remained more civil. Another is that the other thread is a hell of a lot more informative and not such a drag to read. is right when he says that quality is the draw for RO. I am not going to name names here, but there are other sites on the www that are 75% flame wars and don't really have much good info to offer. Want a good, current example of the kind of quality I am talking about? Be here Monday for Carol Kane- Yeah, THAT Carol Kane, from the Wrecking Crew, one of the most prolific session musicians on the west coast.
This thread sucks because Ferd is putting as much effort into proving that Kurt is a big dummy as he is to supporting his positions regarding mic pres. Ethan, Kurt, Steve@Speed, RM, myself and others have posited opposing opinions on the other thread without this sort of negativity.
Ferd- what outcome are you aiming for with all of this? Are you hoping Kurt is going to suddenly admit that he is a big dummy and apologize for all the dumb things he writes? Are you trying to hound him off the board? Are you trying to poison the air around here?
And you can quote me on that. Doc

Kurt, they were calling her Carol Kane?

DonnyThompson Wed, 12/16/2015 - 22:54

audiokid, post: 434527, member: 1 wrote: We had Kasim as a mod here but after he agreed to, he never showed up lol. I finally removed him. He return the odd time but it seemed more like a publicity reason. I think I talked to him from NY once. Nice guy, great career. Busy fellow.

Yeah, one would think that he's probably a bit too busy doing other things, and probably wouldn't have the time to moderate a website. He always seems to be doing something; touring, recording, etc.

It is pretty cool that he at least popped in a time or two, though. ;)

RO's definitely got a solid reputation for being the "home base" of serious professionals.

kmetal Wed, 12/23/2015 - 18:57

She (carol Kaye) was super cool in the wrecking crew and muscle shoals documentaries. Jeff Becks bassist on tour is also a female, and a real monster on the instrument. Not that it matters, but there's a lot of girl bass players I see at clubs and shows. I wonder if they are biologically inclined to have better rythym. Either way she is such a huge part of music history. I wish there was a class or a book recognizing the work and life of all ther unsung, but often heard, music heroes.

Sean G Sun, 12/27/2015 - 07:25

Wouldn't it be great if we could have her back here on RO for a talk or even a guest Q & A or something?(y)

- I know it would be something I'd really think would be beneficial and something I wouldn't want to miss...I think Carol could give us all an insight on how it was done during her time as a recording artist and we could all learn, how good would that be???:D

kmetal Sun, 12/27/2015 - 15:07

Love it Sean! Killer idea. I know some of the big guys have been generous w the q&a on gs. They open up the forum for a day or two and filter the questions. I thoroughly enjoyed the butch big and Sylvia Massey ones.

Would love to see RO get some attention from that level echelon. Carol seems like she is cool enough to be into it.

Gonna pull some strings Kurt Foster ??!

DonnyThompson Tue, 12/29/2015 - 01:18

well, is probably the best place to start, but here's the thing guys... she has her own forum over there.

I'm not saying she's not approachable, because I think she is; she's a very classy lady, who loves talking music history (not just her own, either) but - she might not have the time, between her online and F to F lesson schedule, and posting answers to questions on her own forum.

But... I don't think that should stop someone from at least asking her. I'm just saying, from what I've seen, she might not have the time these days. She obviously keeps herself very busy.

kmetal Tue, 12/29/2015 - 20:25

So I say lets reel her into RO (the best forum ever!!) thru her own. We should probably avoid any cliche questions of possible. There's always heaters out there, but if she's anything in real life, like she is in the documenteries then it'd be nothing but fun to talk some shop w her, if we were lucky enough to get a reply.

DonnyThompson Wed, 12/30/2015 - 02:16

kmetal, post: 434751, member: 37533 wrote: Lol it's probably her first line of defense. Maybe we could gather the questions and start a thread on her forum. Something tonthe effect of 'questions from RO'. Just brainstorming here.

I really don't think it's a "defense" thing, guys ... I think she's honestly very, very busy; between her online and F to F lessons, and whatever other professional or personal obligations she has; she's still a pro musician (for all we know, on top of teaching, she could still be doing sessions for other people online) ... and being busy doing those things, it's probably as simple as her not having had the time to check her mailbox, which is, I'm sure, likely jammed with emails from fans, or production companies looking for interviews, etc.

We need to remember that she's a working musician and teacher. She is NOT one of those older musicians who sits around, and "takes it easy" in their later years.
She is a professional musician, and this is how she pays her bills. We can't expect her to jump at a chance to reminisce with us about the good old days - for free - when she's currently busy working and making a living.

She also has a family.

I too think it would be awesome for her to show up here at RO for a few hours and talk with us, but we can't expect her to have the time to do that.

Plus... think about how many invites similar to ours that she gets ... I'd say she probably gets bombarded with requests like this, especially since The Wrecking Crew movie hit Netflix a few months ago.
I wouldn't have the least bit of doubt that her popularity has increased since, and with it, the number of obligations she has.



kmetal Thu, 12/31/2015 - 20:11

I hear ya d. I just can't get enough stories from 'the days'. It seemed like being a musician/engineer was so much more lively, unique, and interesting, back then. I didn't realize she still taught and gigged so actively. I wonder if GS paid Sylvia Massey and Butch Vig Ect. No doubt carol kaye's stock is at a premium now that the documentary has made people like me aware of her work. Either way, I think it's something to consider, if not for her, for people more accessable. I'm sure there's plenty of people like Phil (over at the studio) who are relatively unknown to the masses, but are a wealth of knowledge, and spent some time on the top of the food chain. Maybe we should start with a list, if people are interested.

I'd like to hear more from Paul Leary who had a great preice on tape op, and produce one of my fav albums sublime's sublime.

Sos gives a lot of these types of engineers/producers some spotlight on their 'classic tracks' feature, which was one of my favorites as a subscriber.

DonnyThompson Fri, 01/01/2016 - 00:59

kmetal, post: 434826, member: 37533 wrote: It seemed like being a musician/engineer was so much more lively, unique, and interesting, back then

There were some great things about "those days" ( I'm referring to the 1963 - 1988 period, or so), and there were also some "not so great things" too... but for now, I'll keep it to the things that I felt were great.

One of the things that I personally miss, but do try to keep alive as much as I can - is the interaction of real people; those talented individuals who worked as part of an ensemble cast; and not just as musicians... I'm including engineers, arrangers and producers on this list, too.
When you get a group of people working together towards the same goal, there's a great potential for "magic" to happen. The creative nature and art that really only happens under those conditions.

That doesn't happen much anymore. With today's home studios, there comes a certain type of artistic isolation, and it's also a narrow art; because so much of the time, everything is done by just one person; one person writes, arranges, performs, engineers, produces and mixes everything themselves, so there's no potential for that kind of ensemble magic to occur; and the art is narrow because there's only one individual involved.

We also didn't have the ability to correct every.single.note.
And on the surface, that technology appears to be useful, and there are times when it can be. But there are just as many times when that method results in lackluster, robotic, sterile performances, devoid of any passion, expression, or emotion.

And, I'll say this, at risk of pissing some people off: If a singer really needs to be tracked that way, punched in on every other line in order to get a keeper take, then I think it's important to ask ourselves... is that individual truly a singer at all...?
If a singer can't get past three phrases without being obviously flat, sharp or out of time rhythmically, I think it begs the question as to whether that individual should even be singing to begin with. ( Flame shields engaged.)

Take a listen to this:

( I chose this for two reasons... the first is that it's a great example of the "human element", and the second is that Carol played bass on the song).

You can hear a "drift" to the vocal harmonies on this... and it's not a bad drift, they are still incredible singers. It's a natural drift, that happens as a result of several great singers all singing their parts at once.

But ... what would have happened if a modern-day engineer, would have been charged with mixing this? Would they have immediately reached for autotune? Would they have edited the tracks so that every single consonant ended at precisely the same time?
Would they have then copied that one "perfect" section, and then pasted it - over and over?
In short, would they have taken this performance, with all the beautiful little faults, the human elements, and correct everything to where that human element disappeared?

Just sayin'... ;)


kmetal Fri, 01/01/2016 - 16:16

DonnyThompson, post: 434839, member: 46114 wrote: It's a natural drift, that happens as a result of several great singers all singing their parts at once.

There's no other way to do it. I've literally seen a co worker deny a band who was requesting numerous times to track the harmonies all at once, cuz that's how they were comfy. All In The name of digital (tuning, intonation) perfection... The band never got past the first songs vocals, and never came back. Now keep in mind we have three vocal booths at that studio, with plenty of isolation. Punch ins would've been indistinguishable. And the band was all for each person in a booth.

It's one of the few times I've seen a vocalist come out of the booth crying, and another band member get visibly and audibly angry with the producer/engineer. Coincidently all of those few times were w the same producer/engineer.

DonnyThompson Sat, 01/02/2016 - 02:00

kmetal, post: 434862, member: 37533 wrote: Man, the beach boys were incredible! I always passed their music by cuz it wasn't my thing. Boy have I been missing something.

Wow. Wow. That's all I can say.

If I were teaching audio recording and production, there are a few classic rock albums I would make as "obligatory listening" for my students...

I'd start with Les Paul's early recordings ( How High The Moon). Then I'd move onto songs by The Righteous Brothers and The Ronettes ( Be My Baby, You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling), produced by Spector and his "Wall Of Sound".
Next would be The Beatles' Revolver, then Rubber Soul, and of course, Sgt. Pepper. Then, The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, and after that, in no particular order, Pink Floyd's DSOTM, Steely Dan's Aja', Queen's Night At The Opera, Alan Parson's Tales Of Mystery And Imagination.

And yes, of course there were other albums like these, just as innovative and ground breaking. I just mentioned the first ones that came to mind, as the ones that stand out, that show as perfect examples of the marriage of the human element(s), the stellar creativity in both composition and capture/mix, and recording technology.

They showcase the studio being used as another "instrument", how recording is a "creative science" and as being crucial in the sound (and success) of those albums... which were all innovative, and all "Game Changers".

But, those are just the choices for my class. What would yours be?

1954, Les Paul and Mary Ford, one of the first examples of multi track over dubbing:

Beach Boys, 1963, Original Mono Version:

Vocals only ( Stereo, backing vox to the right, LV to the left):

1964, Righteous Brothers/ Phil Spector "Wall Of Sound":

With the exception of Les Paul and Mary Ford's How High The Moon, Carol played on all of these, although on You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling, she's credited not on bass, but instead as playing guitar.