Author Topic: What kind of fuzz pedal was used on Spirit In The Sky?  (Read 9899 times)

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vanessa

What kind of fuzz pedal was used on Spirit In The Sky?
« on: January 29, 2005, 08:47:31 AM »
This maybe a dumb question, but does anyone know what kind of fuzz pedal did Norman Greenbaum use on the song Spirit In The Sky? It's sooooo 60's! And very cool!

 :D

R.G.

What kind of fuzz pedal was used on Spirit In The Sky?
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2005, 08:48:50 AM »
I got that kind of sound out of Craig Anderton's "Ultimate Fuzz Adapter", adjusted correctly. I don't know what was actually used.
R.G.

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puretube

What kind of fuzz pedal was used on Spirit In The Sky?
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2005, 09:00:24 AM »
there`s a currently produced pedal on the market,
that`s said to be an original derivate...

...or do I mix this up with "American Woman" ???

mojotron

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What kind of fuzz pedal was used on Spirit In The Sky?
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2005, 09:07:28 AM »
I'm old enough to remember this, but on the original it sounds like this is a case where they used a razor to cut slots in a speaker to get that sound... could be a fuzz with that as well..

Peter Snowberg

What kind of fuzz pedal was used on Spirit In The Sky?
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2005, 09:29:15 AM »
The spirit in the sky fuzz was a custom on-board fuzz built by a friend of Greenbaum.

I think PT is referring to the "Herzog Device" which was more or less a high gain Fender Champ driving a load resistor with a line out. The original was built by Giles Garnet.

A LM386 running on a couple of volts and almost no available current (a really dead battery) can sound really close as an effect. :D
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The Tone God

What kind of fuzz pedal was used on Spirit In The Sky?
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2005, 09:30:13 AM »
Actually it is not cut speaker cones. A buddy of mine and I got into a conversation about this. He got a hold of Norman who sent an email back saying it was a fuzz. No other details as I'm sure he gets asked that question alot.

Andrew

Peter Snowberg

What kind of fuzz pedal was used on Spirit In The Sky?
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2005, 09:31:58 AM »
He lives about an hour north of me.... maybe one of these days I'll try looking him up. :)
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bwanasonic

What kind of fuzz pedal was used on Spirit In The Sky?
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2005, 12:11:59 PM »
When discussing recordings you really have to look at the whole equation as well (guitar, amp, mics, mixing board, compression, tape, etc.) . I imagine even if you had the exact unit used, it would sound different depending on your setup. The reason it sounds "so 60's" is a result of the whole 60's era recording process, not just a pedal.

Kerry M

dr

What kind of fuzz pedal was used on Spirit In The Sky?
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2005, 12:28:08 PM »
Peter- you are correct! I emailed Mr Greenbaum some time back, and he told me it was a built in device....at that time I asked whether he still performed and he said he just spends time in the studio and has a vineyard business.......what a nice guy to take the time to answer an email from a fan of his!.........dr

Regan

What kind of fuzz pedal was used on Spirit In The Sky?
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2005, 01:40:38 PM »
Well,
Peter is half correct :)
It's Gar Gilles, not Giles Garnet :)
Regan

Peter Snowberg

What kind of fuzz pedal was used on Spirit In The Sky?
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2005, 02:36:10 PM »
:oops: Whoops... Thanks Regan. :D

dr, that's really cool! 8)

One of the local TV stations did a sort of "where are they now" type of piece on him a few months back. He seemed like a nice, mellow, well adjusted person. :D
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jmusser

What kind of fuzz pedal was used on Spirit In The Sky?
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2005, 03:22:49 PM »
I checked this out awhile back, because it's one of my favorite Fuzz tones, along with "Incense and Peppermints", Heart Full of Soul" and "Hello I love You" and of course, "Satisfaction". In a magazine interview I read somewhere, he said that someone build this fuzz into his guitar, and he played the guitar with his bare fingers to get it to buzz and sustain like it did. Kind of pulled it up at the end and let it smack the fret maybe. I was really bummed, because I wanted it to be a Tone Bender or something that I could build. My Si Tone Bender comes close, and the OUSB comes close. I would say that with a VOX amp and Rickenbacker with those boxes, it would have it nailed. I believe that the equipment these guys used along with their fuzz was the key, and not so much the fuzz its self honestly. We had a discussion over "Heart Full of Soul", which has that thin high pitched fuzz on it, and I believe that one was an original germanium Tone Bender, that also may have been Beck on it. I know they used Vox and Ricks and some Univox guitars around then.
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blackhouse

Re: What kind of fuzz pedal was used on Spirit In The Sky?
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2011, 10:17:19 AM »
I'd say good circuits to start with for these tones would be the Maestro Fuzztone, Brassmaster, or the Mosrite Fuzzrite (way way underbiased).  I built a Fuzzrite up with a .10uF output capacitor, and biased it cold.  When I played it with fingerpicking I immediately thought Spirit in the Sky.

Peter Snowberg's idea on the underpowered lm386 is a much simpler way to go, and LM-386 circuits are just too much fun, so there's always that.  I also added a dying battery pot to a Sovtek Big-Muff and got some really un-characteristically torn-speaker type sounds when the current was just low enough that signal was passing, but the status LED wasn't illuminated.  So if you have a Big Muff sitting around, you could throw an extra pot in there and have some new textures to play with without having to build a whole new project.

Hope this helps!

« Last Edit: June 03, 2011, 10:20:05 AM by blackhouse »

John Lyons

Re: What kind of fuzz pedal was used on Spirit In The Sky?
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2011, 10:31:34 AM »
Only 6 years late though.  :D
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superferrite

Re: What kind of fuzz pedal was used on Spirit In The Sky?
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2011, 03:28:11 PM »
NEVER too late for a nasty fuzztone!
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John Lyons

Re: What kind of fuzz pedal was used on Spirit In The Sky?
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2011, 04:01:33 PM »
NEVER too late for a nasty fuzztone!


Touche!  :D
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LucifersTrip

Re: What kind of fuzz pedal was used on Spirit In The Sky?
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2011, 04:23:37 PM »
There's more detail in the wiki entry:


According to one source and to DaShiell, Greenbaum used a Fender Telecaster with a fuzz box built into the body to generate the song's characteristic guitar sound.

Moreover, DaShiell  explained how he created the song's distinctive "beeping" fills:
"I actually played the lead guitar parts on Spirit, using a 61-62 SG Les Paul, a 68 Marshall Plexi 100w half stack and a home-made overdrive box in front of the Marshall. Regarding the 'beep beeps' as I call them, when the producer asked me to play some fills in between the verses, as a joke I said how about something spacey like this and I did the pickup switch/string bending thing. I saw him stand up in the control booth and he said "that's it! let's record that!" so we did. (There was no slide involved, just my fingers, and I used the bridge humbucker and the pickup switch). The fuzz part is Norman with a built-in overdrive circuit built into his Tele pickguard."
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zombiwoof

Re: What kind of fuzz pedal was used on Spirit In The Sky?
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2011, 11:49:18 AM »
As was noted, a friend built the fuzz into his guitar, and he doesn't really seem to know what the circuit was.   My bet is that his friend may have taken a commercial fuzz that was around at the time (like a Bosstone or FZ-1, etc.) and transferred the guts to the guitar.  I guess we'll never know, unless the "friend" is still around and spills the beans one day!.

Al

Brossman

Re: What kind of fuzz pedal was used on Spirit In The Sky?
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2011, 01:13:22 PM »
I heard (and this may just be that - 'hearsay') that Gibson had Maestro Fuzzes built into some of their SG-bass guitars with a switch...  If this is the case, Norman's 'buddy' might have hijacked the Maestro Fuzz unit out of one of these basses and wired it into the guitar circuitry...??
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mac

Re: What kind of fuzz pedal was used on Spirit In The Sky?
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2011, 02:11:43 PM »
IIRC Norman is not allowed to talk about setup.

Some ago I tried all the circuits named above, modded them, some of my own, drove my amp hard, etc. Close but never really convinced... until I read recently about possible setup on Smash Mouth's "Walking on the sun", old fuzz on a cheap small SS amp.
I used a Fuzzrite + 5w SS amp + crappy small 2w speaker. Better tahn anything I tried before.

IMHO there is a mechanical ingredient, so I'd experiment with speaker distortion.

mac